A psychiatrist graduated from the Hospital das Clínicas o Medical School of USP anda psychoanalyst with a Lacanian orientation, Bruno Branquinho (33) manages his time to serve as a volunteer at Casa 1 (an organization that welcomes LGBT + in a vulnerable situation), write for the Carta Capital and use your social networks to popularize your followers (the “whiters”) with knowledge about mental health.
Nominated for the 2020 Poc Awards in the “Gay’s Anatomy” category, Branquinho received 33% of the public’s votes and took the trophy that he disputed with five more professionals.
You achieved a high number of votes in your category at the 2020 Poc Awards, one third of the votes. It was an surprise?
Wow, I was very surprised! Both because I was competing with people that I admire a lot, and because there were people much more famous than me there lol! I didn’t really expect it, but I was very happy and satisfied with the recognition!
And what about being an LGBTQIA + health influencer, did you already see the possibility of expanding your reach on the networks or was it something unplanned?
In fact, my networks have always been for personal use only. Until about two years ago, my Instagram, for example, was private. But I ended up realizing that, even among my social circle, many people did not know what my profession was. In addition, I also started to miss doing something more actively by the LGBTQIA+ community. So, when I realized that I could combine my work with the LGBTQIA+ cause, I started using my networks also to publicize my work, with information about mental health for this population.
You are a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst – two professions that work with the mind, albeit with different approaches. As an LGBTQIA+ activist, how do you see the mental health of the community in Bolsonaro’s Brazil?
The LGBTQIA+ community, due to prejudice and the violence suffered for being a sexual minority, ends up having many negative impacts on mental health. Jair Bolsonaro, since long before he was in the office of president, has spoken prejudiced speeches that encourage these violence. In his government, this continued and no protective measures were taken for our community, apart from the dismantling of some essential services and disastrous decisions in several other areas, such as economy, pandemic control, environment, culture, etc. All of this contributes to a worsening of the mental health of the population in general, but with a special negative effect on the LGBTQIA+ community, which already has a greater risk and less access to health services.
In addition to being a doctor, you are also a columnist for Carta Capital, which is a vehicle with a lot of circulation, especially within the left-wing field. Your texts touch on delicate and little discussed topics, in some cases, within the community. How is the impact of your work as an intellectual producer?
Given the lack of qualified and empathetic professionals to serve the LGBTQIA+ population and the scarcity of health content production aimed at this population, I feel very fulfilled and satisfied to be able to produce content directed to the community and to be able to deliver quality information without prejudice to these people. The repercussions are incredible, I receive a lot of positive feedbacks from people who have never been represented in other texts. Also many people thanking me for talking about topics considered taboo that are frequent within the community, but are not spoken in other media spaces (such as, for example, chemical sex – chemsex).
In recent weeks, one of the most discussed controversies on the internet has been the relationship between BBB participants inside the house. The actorLucas Koka Penteado withdrew from the program after several episodes of psychological violence. After coming out as bisexual on national television, the pressure was so intense that he asked to leave the program. How do you analyze the psychological scope of a confinement reality?
This BBB have been set tongues wagging lol. I think that a confinement reality, in which people are watched and filmed 24 hours a day, is a full plate to see, in detail, all the facets of human beings – the good and the bad, which often in everyday life are less revealed. In addition, it is clear that the program’s production, in search of an audience, also selects participants and manipulates situations to create potentially controversial situations, as it knows that this generates more audience. In the case of Lucas, it was something that caught my attention and made me very sad. After days and days of psychological violence by the vast majority of the house, he kisses the participant Gilberto and assumes his bisexuality, receiving questions and criticisms from other participants, many of them also LGBTQIA+, culminating in his departure hours later. It is noteworthy that bisexuality as sexual orientation is always questioned and how bisexual people suffer from the invisibility of their sexual orientation both inside and outside the LGBTQIA+ community. I made an IGTV about it, watch it!
You have effective participation in NGOs that strive to serve the LGBTQIA+ community in various aspects of community life. How would you describe the national public policies in Brazil in this century with regard to the mental health of ours?
I would describe it as insufficient and scarce. I think that, in general, public policies on mental health in Brazil are insufficient and, when we think of the LGBTQIA+ community, this becomes even more striking, which means that there is a need for independent initiatives to try to meet some of this demand.
Being aware of the situation and seeing how the structure works must cause an urgency to act and try to change reality. Have you ever thought about running for political office to dispute this space within the system?
I never thought and honestly I don’t think I have the skills to do it lol. I think there is an urgency to try to change reality, but I try to do it through the possibilities within my own area. We can change the world in a variety of ways, not just through political office.
Switching to amenities, you have a serious relationship. How does network harassment work? Do the guys “throw confetti” at you two?
Yes, I am in a monogamous relationship with Gabriel. I’m flattered when I receive compliments, I think everyone likes to feel beautiful, right? lol But we dealt with it smoothly, without any problems.
And in relation to the professional and media position you occupy today, what can “whiters” expect from the future? What are your projects for the coming months?
I can’t comment on details… hahahaha I’m kidding. I have a lot going on right now, between the office, Casa 1 and courses/lectures in which I already participate. But, despite being a little lazy lol, I’m always evaluating new projects that make my eyes shine. So there may be something out there, but I still don’t know.
Finally, what is your biggest hobby to maintain mental health (besides crossfit, of course)?
The thing I love the most in life is to sit down with my friends and boyfriend to talk and have a beer, and that’s what I miss most during the pandemic.